Italy : 40 years of the little town of the Focolari at Loppiano

Source: FSSPX News


The town of Loppiano, the first of the 33 “little towns of the Focolari” which have sprung up on all five continents, is celebrating its fortieth anniversary. Situated in the Tuscan hills, it has today 1,000 inhabitants from 70 countries, as well as schools, business enterprises and art centers.

Its inhabitants come from Russia, Portugal, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Burundi, the Congo, South Africa, the United States, Mexico, Patagonia, Japan, China, Korea, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. There are students and teachers, craftsmen, professional people, farmers, artists, families, religious and priests, Christians of other Churches and faithful of other religions. More than 40,000 visit Loppiano each year.

On the occasion of this anniversary, the construction of the church of the Citadel dedicated to Mary Theotokos was completed. The solemn concelebration of inauguration took place on October 30, presided over by Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, archbishop of Florence. “It seems to us that the church built of stone was a natural progression from the collective witness of a unity, realized from living stones,” said Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolari movement, on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone on May 15, 2003. Many personalities were present to mark the anniversary, including Pra Maha Thongrattana, a Buddhist monk from Thailand, whose stay in Loppiano in 1992 proved to be decisive in opening a fruitful dialogue between the Thai Buddhist monks and the Focolare Movement.

The Focolare Movement is today spread over 182 countries and has more than two million members or sympathizers.